At some point on Monday evening, my broadband connection went down.
At first I wondered what had happened and if it was my fault: I had, after all, been moving cables and things around in my man room as I attempted a reorganisation that would enable my good stereo to be connected to my airport express to enable wireless access to my music through decent speakers. I'm sure you know what it's like, and I'll bet you have similar forests of cables behind your desks and TVs.....I've often wondered if I'll be able to remember how to put it all back together again if anything ever stops working and I have to risk unplugging stuff, and this was clearly my opportunity to find out.
After a lot of unplugging of cables and rebooting of various routers and modems, I decided - as my internal network still seemed to be working and I was able to connect to everything but the internet - that the fault probably lay with my broadband connection itself.
But how do you check when you can't access the internet?
How can you find out what phone number you're supposed to ring?
In the old days, you could probably rely on a neighbour having an unsecured wireless network. In these untrusting times, however, these seem to be few and far between (and those that exist have a frustratingly intermittent signal from inside my house, the inconsiderate sods....). I was forced to resort, in the end, to disabling the wifi on my phone and using the 3G / Edge network to connect to my provider.
A quick (relatively speaking) phonecall to a lovely man on the helpdesk in India showed that it probably was my cable modem, and an engineer visit was quickly booked... surely I could manage a measley 36 hours without an Internet connection at home?
You'd think, wouldn't you?
But how am I supposed to publish that blog I'd written? How am I supposed to find out the name of that bloke who was in that thing on the telly and what else he had been in? How am I supposed to put a post up onto Freecycle to tell people that someone has come to collect that futon and that they can all stop emailing me now? How am I supposed to look up the postcode of that place I'm supposed to be going to first thing in the morning to attend a course? How am I going to find out what that red button on the side of the scart block I bought is supposed to do?
It all felt so 2004 to be without wireless and it felt positively 1998 to be without any kind of decent Internet connection at all. I was practically helpless.
It's pathetic, isn't it?
Still, all back online now so I can mainline the Internet to my heart's content now.
Honestly, what have we become?